Air tax rise confirmed in budget

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

With the usual mixed response to the Chancellor’s budgets announcements now in full flow, one industry sector has been unanimous in its criticism.

holiday travelThe planned increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD), which was first announced last year, is due to go ahead next month and has drawn condemnation from the travel industry who have claimed that the Chancellor has put “beer before aviation”.

The comment reflects that the rise in APD stood in stark contrast to George Osborne’s decision to reduce the price of a pint of beer by one penny.

Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) said: "It’s beyond belief that the Chancellor has put beer before aviation.

“We have listened to much talk from the Government about the UK being in a global economic race and the importance for the UK to become more competitive, yet airlines, among the most global of businesses, continue to be hammered by the highest aviation tax in the world.”

The changes mean that a family of four flying out from a British airport to anywhere other than continental Europe will face a significant government levy. A trip to New York will now incur costs of £268, the Caribbean £332, and Australia £376.

Darren Caplan, Chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, commented: “Recent World Economic Forum statistics showed we are now 139th out of 140 countries in the world for ticket taxes and airport charges.”

Next month’s rise in Air Passenger Duty will mark the fifth consecutive year that there has been an increase in the tax. The rate is calculated by measuring the distance between London and the capital of the final destination country.

Mr Caplan added: "Only a handful of countries in the EU tax passengers on their international air travel at all – today’s announcement makes the UK even more internationally uncompetitive.”

As the cost of overseas travel rises, it becomes even more important to keep overall costs down. One way to do this is to take a prepaid card with you on holiday: since this is loaded with currency before you jet off, it can help you stick to your budget abroad.

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